Deershed Festival 2014

Despite it ever growing the DEERSHED has lost non of its child friendly allure. Families in their thousands come along to bask in the sun, take in the cool atmosphere, and listen to the odd great band. I say odd as the bands are not really why we are here. Yes, they’re important to some but some just come for the ambience of a week-end spent out in the sun with like minded folk. Like the holidays of old where everyone from the same town went to the same place for 2 weeks. It’s not the same as two weeks in Whitley Bay but it feels as homely and comforting!!!

First up on Friday night: TOY. Basically the Horrors younger siblings. But that’s not a bad thing. They look like they might melt in the evening sun but like the Velvets on speed they keep us rocking through tea time.

DAN LE SAC V SCROOBIUS PIP comes on like a Hasidic, Millwall fan mixed with Eminem, and a panda on keyboards!!!
The expletives weren’t appropriate for the minors in attendance but if those children ask their parents who was the angry rapper and the bear and what was he on about? And they explain properly. The world will be a better place. I was unsure about him beforehand but came away wanting more. One of the many highlights of the week-end.
Remember: The Smiths, Just a band!!!!

Friday finishes with the timeless BRITISH SEA POWER. They’ve been going so long I forget when I first saw them. Supporting the Libertines, I think. I must have come across them half a dozen more times and they never fail to please. Songs from all their albums are aired and greeted by the crowd. The first big name of the week-end and they go down a storm.

Saturday opens with bright sunshine and first thing we catch is ELIZA & THE BEAR. No one in the band is female let alone called Eliza and unless they take all their clothes off there will be no bears!!!! Great band. Poppy, Vampire Weekendish.

BOB STANLEY in a spoken word talk with Dave Simpson. Actually very interesting despite the fact he lambasts cool yet his whole St Etienne career is based on them being perceived as being cool!!!!

SAMANTHA CRAIN, Southern belle. Sounds to me like Kristen Hersh but then doesn’t every singer from the southern states? Great voice. Great songs. We might buy the album.

Then WITHERED HAND, best band of the week-end. FACT. The only criticism was that his set was too short!!! If you haven’t got his albums, get them. Religious Songs has the whole tent singing along. They’re back in the North-East in September (Newcastle & Middlesbrough on the same week-end)

Does JOHNNY MARR have one good solo song? No. He’s missing one important ingredient at every juncture; Morrissey!!! Great guitarist, cool as….. but no great solo songs!!!!
He’s not a singer. He’s not a front man. He’s the worlds best guitarist but singing and talking are not really him.
Don’t get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed his renditions of Smiths songs and Electronic tunes. He wrote them. He owns them and has every right to play them. At these times I thought he was great. But when he did his solo stuff!!! Well what can we say? He came back on to do “Please, Please, Please, let me get what I want” and it was brilliant. He then did “I Fought the law!!” Why? Why? Why? He then finished with “How Soon is Now?” Again, this was amazing. Again, it’s his right to do any song he wants and when he does his own from The Smiths and Electronic they are great but…..
On leaving the arena I spoke to a bloke who thought everything he did was great. I asked him what he thought of I fought the Law. Brilliant he said. He does it as a homage to Mick Jones!!! The Clash didn’t even write I fought the Law!!!! So Johnny, find a front man. Stick to the great songs that you wrote and you can keep headlining forever.

Sunday morning is traditionally sat listening to authors talking about their books about football and music. And this year is no exception. We begin with HEIDI HAIGH talking about following Leeds in the 70s. A lovely lady whose warmth and enthusiasm for her team comes through in her discussion with Dave Simpson. Her book “Follow me and Leeds United” has been added to our shopping list.

Then 4 ex-members of THE FALL. One of the highlights of a great week-end. A genuinely hilarious and insightful view of life in a band with the musical equivalent of Pol Pot. But they’ve all survived year zero and speak warmly of their former leader. The talk was to promote Steve Hanley’s book “The Big Midweek: Life inside the Fall.” Another addition to our shopping list.

Final act of the week-end; STORNOWAY. A great way to finish off a great week-end. Zorbing all over North Yorkshire. They have over an hour to fill and fill it they do. They have two great albums to choose from and every track is welcomed like a long lost friend. Highlights are, of course, Zorbing, as well as We are the Battery Human, The Great Procrastinator and November Song.

And then it was over. Another great experience. Five years old and getting better every year. I took the whole family and they thoroughly enjoyed it. The girls loved making things, playing in ukulele bands, rides on the funfair and the glorious weather. The sun does shine on the good.

A big thank-you to Oliver and Kate, Lewis at Loudhailer Press and all those who helped to put on another great festival. Looking forward to next year already.



By peter on August 4, 2014

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